Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White will announce Khabib Nurmagomedov’s decision on his fighting future right before the start of UFC Fight Island 7’s main card later today (Sat., Jan. 16, 2021) on ABC.
White, who met with the undefeated UFC lightweight champion behind closed doors on Friday, has been saying for months that he’s going to do everything in his power to bring Khabib back out of retirement. Remember, Nurmagomedov walked away from MMA after his submission win over Justin Gaethje back at UFC 254, which came just a few months after the passing of Khabib’s father.
White posted the following message to Instagram early Saturday explaining his plan to announce Khabib’s future in UFC:
“I met with Khabib Nurmagomedov last night, and today at three o’clock on the east coast, on ABC the network, I’m going to talk about his decision, and how it’s going to impact the Poirier-McGregor fight next weekend, and the co-main event in the lightweight division.”
Take this as you will, but it sounds like White may have failed in attracting Khabib out of retirement. If the decision is going to impact Conor McGregor’s upcoming rematch with Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 then it could mean that Khabib isn’t coming back and his title will be vacated and used for the return of “Notorious.”
Same goes for UFC 257’s co-main event, Michael Chandler vs. Dan Hooker, which could now turn into a No. 1 contender’s bout at 155 pounds. That would be great news for Chandler, who was brought over from Bellator MMA late last year and has yet to make his official Octagon debut.
For now we can only speculate. So keep it tuned into Mania and UFC Fight Island 7 on ABC later today to find out if Khabib Nurmagomedov will return to fighting.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Island 7 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches at 12 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN+ and ABC at 3 p.m. ET.
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